DARKNESS ARISEN (Order of the Blade #6) by Stephanie Rowe
About the book: Release Date March 24, 2013
Darkness Hunts Him. Calydon warrior Ian Fitzgerald refuses to die. Cursed by black magic, he has stayed alive through sheer force of will and unyielding commitment to a mission he is sworn to complete. There is only one thing that can defeat him…and she has just found him.
Desire Torments Her. Ravaged by her own passions, tarnished angel Alice Shaw is fighting desperately for salvation before all she cares about is lost forever. Her sensual allure, and the forbidden power buried inside her, are outshone only by the burning need she awakens in Ian.
Fierce Passion Ignites. Raging desire explodes between Ian and Alice, pushing them to the brink of destruction. They cannot afford to succumb, but the cord that binds them will never let them go…not until their most dreaded nightmares come true. Together, they are destined to fail. Together, they will fight to survive the impossible.
Some background information: The Calydons are a race of ancient immortals cursed with a dark side. Each Calydon is destined to meet his soul mate, to be so drawn to her that he is unable to resist bonding with her through the rituals of his race… but their destiny is to destroy each other and all they care about the moment their bond is complete.
REVIEW: DARKNESS ARISEN is the sixth storyline in Stephanie Rowe’s Order of the Blade contemporary fantasy series and focuses on Calydon warrior Ian Fitzgerald and Angel Alice Shaw.
Ian Fitzgerald has lived a lifetime (six hundred years) of suffering, hoping to avenge the family name and break the curse placed upon his ancestors for the death of a warrior’s soul mate hundreds of years in the past. But the Calydon warriors hold sacred their vows and oaths, and the belief of brothers before mates, had led to warrior’s gone rogue and the deaths of many women over the centuries. Ian is the last of his family, cursed to go rogue when it is his destiny to kill his own mate before she has the chance to walk away with his heart. But Ian is in love with Alice and is determined to find a way to avoid their ill-fated future.
Alice Shaw knows what it is like to die. For years the sea has called to her and her Magean destiny awaits. Like the other Fallen Angels, Alice knew that she would suffer as had all the others when the demons came for her soul. But on this day, as she faced the anger of the ocean, she would find herself in the arms of the warrior who continues to rescue the wounded angel every time she seeks to fulfill a promise made to another many years before. But unlike Ian, Alice is having difficulty remembering her past involvement with her soul mate, and it takes everything in Ian to trigger Alice’s memory of the past.
This is my first Stephanie Rowe novel and as I have said in the past- you must read a series in order-especially one as detailed as The Order of the Blade. Throughout a good portion of the novel I was treading in deep waters, as lost at sea, as the heroine of the storyline felt. To update my Order of the Blade information, I had to go back and read reviews and excerpts from the first five books. I struggled with my enjoyment and felt like an interloper at a party to which I wasn’t invited. It was difficult to enjoy the storyline when I knew nothing about the characters, but I will give praise to Stephanie Rowe, because she did include plenty of background information as it pertained to both the current hero and heroine of this particular storyline. My lack of information about the previous storylines in the series is not the fault of the author.
Saying that, the first part of the storyline was difficult for me. Not that is was heartbreaking or sad, but the heroine’s endless need to die over and over had me hoping she would finally succumb to her death wish. Not only did the heroine’s need to die bother me but the inevitable suicide and death wish of the hero doubled the difficulty at times. At one point, it was like watching a ping pong game of whom would die first then come back to life. And in this, Alice was not an easy character to like. She refused to acknowledge or accept her power, and in doing so, her fear of failure, left many people to suffer needlessly. The little faith she had in her abilities caused too much sorrow for the warriors struggling to save the lives of their friends.
The storyline changes when it is revealed that Fallen Angels, who have sinned or are no longer pure, become one of the Magean (a group of underwater beings sentenced to live out eternity under the sea). And it is Alice’s intent to trade in a favor, with the Magean to discover the whereabouts of a friend to whom she had made a promise many years before. But something goes wrong in the underworld, and Ian and Alice are given 72 hours to make good on a promise or die upon their return.
The relationship between Ian and Alice is inevitable. They are destined as are all soul mates that have met each other in previous lifetimes. But Alice’s refusal to accept that inevitable forces Ian to make decisions he would have never done otherwise. He places his fellow warriors in danger trying to prove to Alice that their bonding is unavoidable and something that will probably kill them both. But in the end, a missing warrior will be found, another will be on the verge of going rogue, and the Angel of Death looks for release from this world.
DARKNESS ARISEN is a well-written and interesting storyline with plenty of detail and information. I was pleased that Stephanie Rowe integrated the history of the Calydon warriors with this particular storyline because without it I would have given up very early in the book. When I have a few spare weeks to myself, I will go back and read the Order of the Blade series. Having read only one storyline I am intrigued with the author’s ability to weave a story. My only wish is that I was able to read the series from book one.
Copy supplied by the author
Forever in Darkness
Reviewed by Sandy